Lakeland University Blog

Great Lakes Writers Festival returns November 4-5

Great Lakes Writers Festival returns November 4-5


Great Lakes Writers Festival returns November 4-5

Lakeland University will welcome two accomplished authors to its 23rd Great Lakes Writers Festival, a celebration of writing and reading that is set for Nov. 4-5 on Lakeland’s main campus.

Ryan Ireland and Cathryn Cofell will join the Lakeland community for conversations about their craft and they will read from their work. The event, hosted by Lakeland Fessler Professor of Creative Writing Karl Elder, provides seasoned and emerging writers the opportunity to learn from professional writers and share and discuss their work with peers.

Community members are invited to participate in all events and are especially encouraged to attend readings and workshops. All events are free and open to the public.

For a complete schedule, visit the events page at

Ireland is author of novels published by Oneworld, “Beyond the Horizon” and “Ghosts of the Desert.” He has also published scholarly, popular and creative nonfiction in Public Libraries Quarterly, Voices of Youth Advocates, “Sidereal” and “Ripcord.”

For the last decade he has worked in public library communications. In 2016, he combined his passion for libraries and storytelling with his TEDx talk, “Your Story Matters.” In late 2019, he was a writer-in-residence for the Jan Michalski Foundation, located in Switzerland, where he finished his third novel.

Cofell is the author of six chapbooks and two full-length poetry collections including “Stick Figure with Skirt,” winner of the 2019 Main Street Rag Poetry Book Award. She previously performed her poems with the music duo Obvious Dog and together they produced “Lip.”

Cofell’s work has been published more than 300 times and earned more than 50 awards for her work, including the Lorine Niedecker Poetry Award and the Mill Prize for Poetry. In 2020, the Council for Wisconsin Writers gave her the Christopher Latham Sholes award for her advocacy efforts as founder of the Wisconsin Poet Laureate Commission, the Wisconsin Fellowship of Poets Chapbook Prize and Poetry Unlocked, among others.

Learn more about her at her website:

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